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View Poll Results: What 4 baseball men were the most instrumental persnally in developing the game?
Abner Doubleday— in 1907, controversially acclaimed the “inventer” of baseball, 1839 4 66.67%
Alexander Cartwright—organized Knickerbocker Baseball Club of New York, 1845 2 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2005, 10:08 PM
Alcott Alcott is online now
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As fans are getting interested in baseball again, and the seasons have already started for school teams and others, and 'spring training' starts in a week, let’s go back to the game’s roots and consider the accomplishments of those in the 19th century who made the game what it became.
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2005, 10:35 PM
ChurchBoy ChurchBoy is offline
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Modern baseball actually got it's start in 1893 when the mound was moved to 60'6". Nothing happened in 1900 to make the game "modern".

Just a few that made baseball the game it is today.

Henry Chadwick
John McGraw
Cap Anson
Charles Comisky
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2005, 10:49 PM
Alcott Alcott is online now
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Nevertheless, 1900 has long been considered the 'dividing line' between modern and pre-modern. Thus, Hugh Duffy's .440 batting average in 1894 is not considered a modern baseball record, even though it's the highest recorded for a major league team.

Besides, there were other notable rule changes after 1893... bunting a foul on 3rd strike became on out (1894), a caught 'foul tip' could be a 3rd strike and the 'infield fly rule' (1895), and the height of the pitcher's mound became limited to 15 inches above the level of the baselines (1904).
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alcott:
Nevertheless, 1900 has long been considered the 'dividing line' between modern and pre-modern. Thus, Hugh Duffy's .440 batting average in 1894 is not considered a modern baseball record, even though it's the highest recorded for a major league team.

Besides, there were other notable rule changes after 1893... bunting a foul on 3rd strike became on out (1894), a caught 'foul tip' could be a 3rd strike and the 'infield fly rule' (1895), and the height of the pitcher's mound became limited to 15 inches above the level of the baselines (1904).
Very true. I grew up reading about the dividing line. The dividing line was an artifical one and is pretty much gone these days. Take a look at www.Baseball-reference.com. They list all time leaders in one group now. Hugh Duffy has the all-time single season BA record...What people do you think played a prominent role in baseball's formative years?
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2005, 06:54 AM
Alcott Alcott is online now
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That's probably right. Much of my knowledge of baseball records I learned as a kid came from the 1970 World Book Encyclopedia (I actually still have that set, believe it or not). The baseball article therein does date the "modern era" and its records from 1900; although career records, such as Cy Young's 511 wins as a pitcher qualify as modern since they were about equally divided as half before, and half after, 1900. With baseball having gone 30+ years further and so many of those records I learned now broken anyway, it no longer really makes sense to put 1900 as a divisional year.

The 4 I voted for in the poll were Cartwright, Chadwick, Cummings, and Hulbert. While Cartwright surely didn't make up all the "Cartwright rules" by himself, he assumed the responsibility of recording them, as well as assuming leadership of the Knickerbocker club and seeing to it they kept the game developing. Someone else would have played a role like his if he hadn't, but it was still he who persisted.

Chadwick did much to popularize the game and to make it so that the action in a game unseen could be understood 'shorthand.' This kept interest in more than just one's own local team.

Cummings did the most to make the "feeder" the least important player in the field to the pitcher, the most important. Although clubs and leagues fought this change in strategy at first, this made games the length of the fans' attention spans and promoted the perfection of greater skills overall.

Hulbert, although a man I have no liking for, made the professional game something talked about all over the country with his strong-arm tactics of league organization. This increased the popularity of the game at all levels, with kids getting ambitious to emulate the pros and hoping to become one.

So those are my 4 which did the most to develop the game as we have come to know it, and my reasons.
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2005, 05:12 AM
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With only 4 votes so far, 2 have said Abner Doubleday [img]graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] . Do you guys really think Doubleday had anything to do with the development of the game of baseball?

The reason I included him as an option is because I recently looked at his site on www.findagrave.com , and the tributes to him are mostly about him as the "inventor of baseball." I wonder if those posters are kidding or not.
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2005, 09:58 PM
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robycop3 robycop3 is offline
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Let's look at some of those gentlemen:

Abner Doubleday was a professional soldier, a Civil War general, and a pretty good one. He is lesser-known in that capacity because he wasn't in any of the famous battles, and was quiet and efficient. He MAY have played "town ball" as a youth, but his only real connection with the game as an adult was to suggest to his men that they organize teams and play each other to pass the time. (War time in the Civil war was about 3% time spent fighting and the rest either moving or idling. Commanders were constantly seeking ways to keep their men fit, healthy, and occupied. For Doubleday, baseball was among his ideas.)

Cap Anson...Great player, decent manager, yes...but he was a virulent racist, and was almost singlehandedly responsible for the unwritten ban against blacks in the major leagues.

King Kelly...While highly-popular for a few years,(Even had a song written about him, Slide, Kelly, Slide.) was a drunk and a swindler who loved to gamble, cheating when he could...but basically stayed broke. He died when, after he was thrown off a streetcar in Boston for being highly intoxicated, loud and vulgar, he tried to follow it across a bridge...and fell into the river.

It's doubtful that Kelly woulda had a long career or avoided prison today.

However, Kelly with Cap Anson developed many of the baseball plays still used today...the hit-n-run, various "squeeze plays" involving bunting, various double steals, and other base running tricks.

Wee Willie Keeler...Played a style similar to Kelly's, but was somewhat more organized and sober off the field than was Kelly...had a great sense of humor.

Once, on a train, his manager(Can't remember which one) was complaining they had the poorest accommodations on the whole train. Keeler said, "I can get us GREAT seats if you have the guts!" The manager said, "You know me..I've got the guts do do'most ANYTHING!" Keeler then donned a conductor's uniform he'd found in a locker & said, "Follow me!" Into a 1st-class car they went where Keeler announced that this car was gonna be disconnected at the next stop due to mechanical probs & that all passengers should move to other cars, which they did.(In those days, baseball players weren't as recognized out of uniform as they now are.) Keeler & the manager had a 1st-class car all to themselves. The manager said, "that was easy-Where do the guts come in?" Keeler just smiled & removed the uniform. The train passed through a town w/o stopping, & some of the displaced passengers began returning to the car. Keeler winked at the manager & said, "Here's where the guts come in".

He was 5'4", 140 lb at the most & used a tiny bat, 30" long, 29 oz. weight. But he was strong and very quick, and a very accurate batter who very often DID 'hit'em where they aint'. He is among the all-time leaders in fewest strikeouts for a career. His contribution to the game itself was his immense popularity as a player. He did not help develop the game otherwise; he merely carried out the hustling style of play developed by Anson and Kelly.

Candy Cummings...His nick came from the slang "the candy" for a superlative, much as "You da man" is used now. Even though a player named Fred Goldsmith claimed to have invented the curveball, Candy publicly demonstrated it by standing slightly to the left of a thin pole, from which a line had been drawn to another pole some feet away, and to a third pole somewhat further away, to show they were in line. The right-handed Cummings, while standing in line with all the poles, threw the ball just to the first pole's right, passing the second pole just to the right, and curving by the third pole on the left.

Cummings weighed only some 120 lbs in his playing days, and therefore was worn out as a player by age 27...but he often pitched both ends of a doubleheader and some 50-60 games a season. He was soon forgotten after his career was over, and he did nothing to keep memories of himself alive.

Remember, Cummings pitched in the era of underhand pitching and a 50' distance from mound to plate.

Cartwright was a major contributor. His rules quickly became the standard for most organized baseball at all levels. I shall post those rules in a separate post.

Cartwright was a businessman and a firefighter, and that came before baseball. He moved to Hawaii, where he organized the first Honolulu Fire Dept.

Henry Chadwick, an Englishman, was the greatest baseball writer of his day, perhaps for all time to now. His contributions to the development and popularity of baseball are as great as anyone who's ever lived. He developed all the stats now used, the modern box score, and the weekly baseball tabloid, the Sporting life. he also wrote several books to teach baseball techniques to new players.

That's all fer now, folks...
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:59 PM
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Alexander Cartwright's original baseball rules, 1845:


Section 1

Members must strictly observe the time agreed upon for exercise and be punctual in their attendance.

Section 2

When assembled for practice, The President, or Vice President in his absence, shall appoint an umpire, who shall keep the game in a book provided for that purpose, and note all violations of the By-Laws and Rules during the time of exercise.

Section 3

The presiding officer shall designate two members as captains, who shall retire and make the match to be played, observing at the same time the players put opposite each other should be as nearly equal as possible; the choice of the two sides to be then tossed for, and the first in hand to be decided in a like manner.

Section 4

The bases shall be from "home" to second base, 42 paces; from first base to third base, 42 paces, equidistant.

Section 5

No stump match shall be played on a regular day of exercise.

Section 6

If there should not be a sufficient number of members of the club present at the time agreed upon to commence exercise, gentlemen not members may be chosen in to make up the match, which shall not be broken up to take in members that may afterwards appear; but in all cases, members shall have the preference, when present at the making of the match.

Section 7

If members appear after the game is commenced they may be chosen in if mutually agreed upon.

Section 8

The game to consist of 21 counts, or aces; but at the conclusion of an equal number of hands must be played.

Section 9

The ball must be pitched, and not thrown, for the bat.

Section 10

A ball knocked out of the field, or outside the range of first or third base, is foul.

Section 11

Three balls being struck at and missed and the last one caught is a hand out; if not caught is considered fair, and a striker is bound to run.

Section 12

A ball being struck or tipped and caught either flying or on the first bound is a hand out.

Section 13

A player running the base shall be out, if the ball is in the hands of an adversary on the base, or the runner is touched with it before he makes his base; it being understood, however, that in no instance is a ball to be thrown at him.

Section 14

A player running who shall prevent an adversary from catching or getting the ball before making his base is a hand out.

Section 15

Three hands out, all out.

Section 16

Players must take their strike in a regular turn.

Section 17

All disputes and differences relative to the game, to be determined by the Umpire, from which there is no appeal.

Section 18

No ace or base can be made on a foul strike.

Section 19

A runner cannot be put out in making one base, when a balk is made by the pitcher.

Section 20

But one base allowed when a ball bounds out of the field when struck.


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